Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas took a shot at first lady Michelle Obama during a campaign rally in Iowa on the last weekend before the Feb. 1 caucus votes. Cruz promised his wife would bring french fries back to school lunches if he is elected president.
“When Heidi’s first lady, french fries are coming back to the cafeteria,” Cruz told an applauding crowd in Iowa on Jan. 31, reports BuzzFeed News.
“The last I checked the cardboard was supposed to be on the tray and not in the food,” he added.
Cruz’s “first lady” reference was directed at Michelle Obama who has spent much of her time as first lady campaigning to end childhood obesity and improve school meals, America News reported.
In 2010, Michelle Obama began her Let’s Move program aiming to get children to be more physically active. In 2012, she teamed up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to overhaul standards for school meals as part of her HealthierUS School Challenge.
Cruz is not the only GOP presidential candidate to go after Michelle Obama’s healthy eating program. In January, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey told a child at an Iowa rally that Obama “has no business being involved in [school lunches],” according to America News.
A 2015 survey, conducted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, found large support for healthy school lunches.
“Our survey found that people in the U.S. overwhelmingly support strong nutrition standards and believe school meals are healthier and on the right track because of these [HealthierUS School Challenge] standards,” the head of the foundation told the New York Times, according to ThinkProgress.
The Kellogg Foundation’s national poll found that 80 percent of Americans support healthy school meals that include more fruit and vegetables and less high calorie and sodium food choices. These standards are part of the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set nutritional requirements for food sold and distributed in schools.
Heading into the Iowa caucus, Cruz faces strong competition from rival GOP candidate and front-runner Donald Trump. Whether his campaign promise of french fries in schools will give him the edge remains to be seen.